Kingfisher - songs for Halcyon

The long-awaited Kingfisher CD is now out.  Released through Tall Poppies, the CD features 21 new commissions written in 2013-14 in celebration of Halcyon's 15th birthday.  An outstanding collection which showcases the richness of Australian contemporary writing for voice and chamber ensemble.

 

TRACK LIST

  1. Andrew Ford: To My Excellent Lucasia, on our Friendship [2:42]

  2. Stuart Greenbaum: Opalescence [4:00]

  3. Paul Stanhope: My Love in Her Attire [1:38]

  4. Elliott Gyger: The Pleiades at Midnight [4:27]

  5. Stephen Adams: Sometimes snow fell, sometimes darkness... [3:43]

  6. Jane Stanley: Round the Bay [3:31]

  7. Graham Hair: All About Anna [4:06]

  8. Rosalind Page: Aquila’s wing [2:49]

  9. Nicholas Vines: A King’s Manifesto [6:01]

  10. Katy Abbott: Follow Me Through the Shadow [2:57]

  11. Dan Walker: The Mystic Blue [3:40]

  12. Ross Edwards: The Tranquil Mind [3:16]

  13. Kevin March: Sea-blue Bird [4:07]

  14. Sharon Calcraft: Verathmende, Schillernde, Blitzende... [3:09]

  15. Andrew Schultz: Lake Moonrise, Op. 94 [3:56]

  16. Gordon Kerry: Music (La Musique) [2:59]

  17. Raffaele Marcellino: Turbulent Passions Calm [3:43]

  18. John Peterson: See, the Prismatic Colors Glisten [4:47]

  19. Nigel Butterley: Nature Changes at the Speed of Life [2:41]

  20. Moya Henderson: I Lost a World the Other Day [3:38]

  21. Gillian Whitehead: All One Water [4:24]

ARTISTS

Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Laura Chislett Jones piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass flute Jason Noble clarinet, bass clarinet, Geoffrey Gartner cello, William Jackson & Joshua Hill percussion

Recorded at Trackdown Scoring Stage, Sydney in May-July 2014.  Engineered and mixed by Daniel Brown.

Mastered by Christo Curtis, Utopia Audio.

Cover photograph: Lorenzo Cortelletti  Cover design: Elizabeth Duck-Chong

Available through Tall Poppies or Halcyon.

Read The Australian  & Sounds LIke Sydney reviews

Bohemian Rhapsody

All of your favourite pop songs from yesteryear, as you’ve never heard them before!

Bohemian Rhapsody – Choral Pop is set to become one of the musical sensations of 2015. Recorded by one of Australia’s finest choirs, this album of brand new choral arrangements brings to life classic songs including Blackbird, Mamma Mia and — of course! — Bohemian Rhapsody.

The perfect gift for Mother’s Day, this album is also a treasure for anyone reliving the golden years of pop, or just looking for brilliant new takes on some of the greatest songs ever written.

TRACK LIST

  1. Bohemian Rhapsody

  2. Africa

  3. Moon over Bourbon Street

  4. Mack the Knife

  5. A Day in the Life

  6. Golden Years

  7. The Metre

  8. Blackbird

  9. God Only Knows

  10. If You Leave Me Now

  11. Summertime

  12. Les Feuilles mortes

  13. Exit Music (For a Film)

  14. 怎麼捨得你 (How Can I Let You Go?)

  15. Mamma Mia (Perpetuum mobile)

Available on iTunes, the ABC Shop and from JB HiFi.

Waves II

 

Waves II is Halcyon's second release of studio recordings featuring two radiant Australian works - Ross Edwards' Maninya I (1981/86) for mezzo soprano and cello and Dan Walker's King Ludwig's Swans (2004/2009) for 4 female voices and harp, commissioned by Halcyon in 2004.

TRACK LIST

  1. Maninya I

2-6. King Ludwig’s Swans

ARTISTS

Alison Morgan soprano, Belinda Montgomery soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Jo Burton mezzo soprano, Genevieve Lang harp, Geoffrey Gartner cello  

Recorded at Trackdown Scoring Stage, Sydney in 2011-2012.  Engineered, mixed and mastered by Daniel Brown.

Available as mp3 from cdbaby and itunes and CD from Halcyon

Read the Music Trust review here.

 

 

Waves I

 

Elliott Gyger's Petit Testament (2008) for soprano, mezzo and piano and Andrew Ford's Willow Songs (2009) for soprano, mezzo, flute/piccolo/alto flute, clarinet/bass clarinet, percussion and piano. Both works were conceived for the two versatile voices of Halcyon - who feature as soloists, in duo and sometimes even masquerading as each other.

TRACK LIST

  1. Petit Testament

  2. Willow Songs

ARTISTS

Mark Shiell conductor Alison Morgan soprano Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano Sally Walker flutes Jason Noble clarinets John Douglas percussion Sally Whitwell piano

Recorded at Trackdown Scoring Stage Sydney September 2009 & May 2011. Engineered, mixed and mastered by Daniel Brown.

Available as mp3 from cdbaby and CD from Halcyon (link to info@halcyon.org.au.

Read the Music Trust review here.

Sunburnt Aftertones

This CD of the chamber music of Katy Abbott  captures the dulcet tones of Halcyon,  alongside Collision Theory with Caerwen Martin , Syzygy Ensemble, Mark Gaydon and Barry Cockcroft ,Jessica Voigt and Joseph Lallo Halcyon performs No Ordinary Traveller (2006) - song cycle for mezzo and mixed trio. Commissioned by Halcyon in 2006.

ARTISTS

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Diana Springford clarinet, Daryl Pratt percussion, Jo Allan piano

Recorded at Trackdown Studios, Sydney by Daniel Brown, 2010.  Produced by Haig Burnell.  Edited by Haig Burnell and Tom Grubb.

Available as CD from Halcyon and Katy Abbott.

Cool Black

Chamber Works by Rosalind Page

Cool Black (MCD396) features three chamber song cycles by Australian composer. Each has its own unique language - both linguistically and musically. apollinairesongs draws on the poetry of Guillaume Apollinare, Hrafnsöngvar the poetry of Hrafn Andrés Harŏarson and Sonetos del amor oscuro, winner of the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award, 2006, the poetry of Federco García Lorca.  

TRACK LIST

Apollinairesongs

1. le pont Mirabeau

2. toujours

3. claire de lune

4. l'univers

Hrafnsövar

5. Ì upphafi

6. Morgunn

7. tónfygli - fuglar himins

8. Lífiŏ sjálft

9. Spá

10. fuglagiŏ - Perluregn

11. Ó, Fró, bín móŏir

Sonetos de Amor Oscuro

12. El poeta habla por teléfono con el amor

13. Noche del amor insomne

14. Soneto de la guirnalda de rosas

15. Llagas de amor

16. El poeta pide a su amor que le escriba

ARTISTS

Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Alison Morgan soprano, Mark Shiell conductor, Roland Peelman conductor, Laura Chislett Jones flutes, Diana Springford clarinet, Nicole Forsyth viola, Clemens Leske piano, Patrick Murphy cello, Genevieve Lang harp, Ben van Tienen celeste, Tommie Andersson lute, baroque guitar, theorbo, Daryl Pratt percussion, Claire Edwardes percussion, Kirsty McCahon double bass, Rosalind Page balinese gong, soundtrack

Recorded and engineered at Trackdown Digital by Daniel Brown, Sept 2007-February 2008.  Edited and mixed by Daniel Brown, Rosalind Page and Halcyon.  Mastered by Kathy Naunton, dB Mastering. Produced by Halcyon and AVT.

Available as CD from Halcyon, the Australian Music Centre and Buywell and as an mp3 from the Australian Music Centre

Waltzing Matilda - Songs of Oz

Artists: The Song Company

A new take on some well-known Australiana songs featuring the six voices of the Song Company.  Recorded live in performance.

Jenny features on Jubjubby.

 

  1. Waltzing Matilda

  2. Six Ribbons

  3. Black Ribbon

  4. Three Torres Strait Islander Songs (Baz Wed, Pyb Mangal Thithuy, Seri Seri / SagerMape Au Sik Sik)

  5. Tommy Tanna (A White Woman to Her Kanaka Swain)

  6. Bound for South Australia

  7. The Don

  8. The Hunt!

  9. Jubjubby

  10. We Must Be Off

  11. And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda

  12. Waltzing Matilda (Queensland Version)

  13. Botany Bay

  14. Click Go the Shears

  15. The Lime Juice Tub

  16. Lines of a Lovelorn Cowhand

  17. Way Up North (Yodel)

  18. Tie Me Kangaroo Down

  19. Waltzing Matilda

Available on iTunes.

 

Monteverdi L'Orfeo

Orfeo is the often counted as the first true opera, though there were a number before this. Monteverdi chose a fitting subject for his masterwork, and it's a subject very dear to opera composer's hearts.

A recording taken from a live Pinchgut performance in 2004.

Mark Tucker - Orfeo, Sara Macliver - La Musica / Messagiera / Proserpina, Damian Whiteley - Charon/Pluto, Paul McMahon - Pastore / Eco / Plutone, Brett Weymark - Pastore / Eco / Plutone, Penelope Mills - Euridice, Josie Ryan - Ninfa, Anna Fraser - Speranza, Philip Chu, Jenny Duck-Chong, Craig Everingham, Belinda Montgomery, Dan Walker, Raff Wilson - Pastores

Conductor: Antony Walker

Available on iTunes. To hear clips, including a clip of Jenny visit Pinchgut.

Dark Love

Chamber music, where just a few instruments come together, is the best kept secret of the music world. The listener can delight in hearing with immense clarity all the colours of a rich sonic landscape; add some exotic and obscure instruments and you have a veritable feast of sound. In this final performance for 2004, Halcyon presented a luxurious program of Spanish, American and Australian chamber music, featuring the poetry of Spanish Federico Garcia Lorca, Basque Bernardo Atxaga and the Indian 16th century poetess Mirabai.

Track List

1-6.John Harbison  Mirabai Songs

7-10.George Crumb Night of the Four Moons

11-15.Rosalind Page Sonetos del amor oscuro (World premiere)

16-19.Gabriel Erkoreka  Bizitza (Australian premiere)

Artists: Roland Peelman conductor, Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano  Laura Chislett Jones alto flute, piccolo Steve Meyer flute, piccolo Diana Springford clarinets, Matthew Ockenden bassoon, Michael Hooper banjo, Tommie Andersson lutes, baroque guitar, theorbo, Vanessa Souter harp, Daryl Pratt percussion, John Douglas percussion, Sophie Cole violin, Nicole Forsyth viola, Deborah Coogan cello, electric cello, Helen Cosgrove double bass

Recorded live by ABC Classic FM.  Producer: Stephen Adams  Engineer: Christian Huff-Johnston

Available as CD from Halcyon or cdbaby.com

Sirens

The allure of the female voice has long been recognised as having irresistible charm.  Throughout history many legends tell of sailors being lured to their deaths by the dangerous but beautiful sounds of mermaids, sirens or nymphs.  According to Greek mythology Odysseus stuffed his companions’ ears with wax and had himself lashed to the mast of his ship so he and his crew could resist the rich and seductive power of the Sirens’ song.  

Track List

1-3 Dan Walker King Ludwig’s Swans

4. Kerry Andrew luna-cy

5-9 Ruth Lee Martin Carmina Gaedelica

10-11Kaija Saariaho  Nej och inte

12. Edward McGuire  Celtic Knotwork

13-17.Graham Hair  O Venezia Part 1

Artists

Alison Morgan soprano, Belinda Montgomery soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano, Jo Burton mezzo soprano, Genevieve Lang harp

Recorded live at Music Workshop, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, July 2004 by ABC Classic FM.

No longer available

Closeups

CLOSE UPS was a highlight of 2004 for Halcyon; an intimate program bringing together just a handful of artists for each work, set in the beautiful acoustic of Trackdown Scoring Stage, and accompanied towards the end by a fantastical Sydney rain storm.

Track list

  1. Kaija Saariaho Du gick , flög

  2. Rachel Clement Fracture

  3. Sally Beamish Buzz

  4. -6. Edison Denisov Archipel de songes

7-8 Libby Larsen Do you know and Liebeslied From Beloved, thou hast brought me flowers

9. Jonathan Harvey Lullaby for the Unsleeping

10-11 Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki Good Night , (movt 2 & 3)

Dai Fujikura Still sweet…

13-17.Earl Kim Now and then

18. Ross Harris …inside the rainbow air…

19.Fung Lam Amitabha (World premiere)

Artists: Alison Morgan soprano, Jenny Duck-Chong mezzo soprano , Steven Meyer flutes , Alexandre Oguey cor anglais , Alison Eddington percussion , Sally Whitwell piano , Lucy O'Shea harp , Alex Norton violin , Nicole Forsyth viola , Sally Maer cello

Recorded live at Trackdown Scoring Stage, Fox Studios, Sydney, June 2004  Engineer/editor: Patrick Mullins Assistant editor: Daniel Brown

Available as CD from Halcyon, CD and mp3 from cdbaby.com and mp3 from itunes,

Fauré Requiem

For this ABC Classics recording, the Australian choral group Cantillation and the Sinfonia Australis, under the direction of Antony Walker, perform the 1893 chamber orchestra version of Gabriel Fauré's masterful Requiem, Op. 48, along with two less significant but beautiful choral works, the Cantique de Jean Racine, Op. 11, and La Naissance de Vénus, Op. 29.

Jenny features in the opening of La Naissance de Venus

  1. Requiem

  2. La Naissance de Venus (world premiere recording - orchestral version)

  3. Cantique de Jean Racine

Cantillation, Sara Macliver, Teddy Tahu Rhodes,

Orchestra: Sinfonia Australis

Conductor: Antony Walker

Available on iTunes.

Maria Morning Star

Australia's longest-lived early music ensemble, the Renaissance Players were first assembled in 1967 by multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Winsome Evans. With a revolving lineup typically employing nine to ten musicians in tandem with a poetry reader and miming clowns, the group amassed a vast repertoire of over 2,500 songs spanning from the ninth century to the present; in addition to their regular concert performances, in 1973 the Renaissance Players also founded the annual Runnymede Pop Festival. (Another yearly tradition, their Christmas Pudding Concert, was conceived three years later.) Their recordings include the multi-chapter Sephardic Experience series, released on the Celestial Harmonies label during the late '90s and as a box in 1999.